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Committee votes to bring issue of wind farm before Woodford Board  

Resident: I think people in this county are ready to prostitute their daughters

EUREKA – Another Woodford County Board committee voted Tuesday to bring the issue of the El Paso wind farm before the full board May 20.

Board member Larry Whitaker lead the effort despite the issue not being on the formal agenda and the fact that he was stripped of membership on the committee last week by board Chairman John Krug.

The conservation, planning, and zoning committee voted 3-2 to recommend that the full board put the issue on the agenda for “consideration.”

Committee Chairman James Fyke of Eureka voted with Whitaker and Gary Jones after Whitaker agreed to change the word “action” to “consideration.” Voting no were Thomas Evans of Roanoke and Thomas Karr of Congerville.

A similar effort by Whitaker last week at the road and bridge committee prompted Krug to remove him from three committees.

On Monday night, Jones’ central services committee recommended to the board that it act as a facilitator between township road commissioners and Minneapolis-based Navitas, which seeks to construct 40 wind towers near El Paso.

Whitaker said he was given a verbal opinion by State’s Attorney Michael Stroh that the full board must vote to remove him from committees.

Stroh also has issued a legal opinion that the board could not vote to approve the wind farm because of a stipulation by the Zoning Board of Appeals that the road agreement be settled first.

Whitaker said he followed Stroh’s recommendation on his committee status but not on the issue of taking it to the full board, describing the first as a “procedural matter.”

Krug said: “If we believe in the advice of our state’s attorney, we don’t pick and choose. It’s a lawless society when we only follow the ones in our favor.”

After Krug removed Whitaker from committees last week, Fyke took the wind farm issue off his committee’s formal agenda.

Whitaker said he posted a separate addendum to the agenda on the board window at 4:58 p.m. Sunday to meet requirements of the Open Meetings Act.

“The intention is to make sure that the public’s business is conducted in public,” Whitaker said. “This process has been done totally by County Board rules.”

The same 3-2 vote defeated an attempt by Karr and Evans to postpone a vote on the agenda addition.

Karr said they should follow the advice of the state’s attorney.

“If we’re not going to follow his legal advice, why have him?” he asked.

Evans was concerned about voting on the issue “when you’re right in the middle of negotiations.”

Jones argued that it is not within the powers of the board chairman to set the agenda for the entire 15-member board.

“I certainly see no problem in talking about it,” he said. “What’s the big deal?”

Duane Kingdon of rural El Paso said during the public comment portion that he was witnessing “board members out of control.

“I really think that people in this county are ready to prostitute their daughters for the bucks,” he said.

By Jerry McDowell

Bloomington Pantagraph

13 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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